DILIMAN College turned to the ‘Mutt and Jeff’ combination of Rickson Gerero and Adama Diakhite to bring down Bulacan State University, 79-70, and keep a share of the lead with defending champion Centro Escolar University in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque.
Gerero scattered a team-high 22 points for the Blue Dragons, who extended their winning streak to five games for a share of the topspot with the Scorpions with identical 7-1 win-loss records.
Bu it was Diakhite, as usual, who made the big difference in the game.
The 6-9 Diakhite used his stratospheric height to scare away the Gold Gears as he finished with a triple double of 18 points, 25 rebounds and 11 blocks for the Quezon City-based Blue Dragons.
Two other players -- Joseph Brutas and Jerico Mondala -- also scored in double figures for the Blue Dragons with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“Thank God for this hard-earned win. As always, we bring back the glory to him,” said Diliman College coach Rensy Bajar.
“This game tested our character as a team coming from a big win against the defending champion CEU.. I give credit to Adama, who provides the team the much-needed leadership, especially on defense.
Bajar, who also steered the Blue Dragons to the UCBL Summer League title, attributed the team’s continued success to the all-out support of the Diliman College community, headed by former Sen. Nikki Coseteng.
A former player himself before turning his sights into coaching, Bajar also thanked the team’s sponsors, Jerome Ngo of Gerry’s Grill and RB Sports and Apparel.
Up next for Diliman College is a rematch against Colegio de San Lorenzo Blue Griffins, the only team to beat the Dragons in the elimination round.
Diliman College (79) -- Gerero 22, Diakhite 18, Brutas 11, Mondala 10, Darang 5, Chavenia 3, Corpuz 3, Salazar 3, Ligon 2, Tay 2, Bauzon 0, Handag 0, Mbiya 0, Sombero 0.
Bulacan State (70) -- Crisostomo 17, Dela Cruz 12, Fajardo 12, M. Mendoza 10, Necio 8, Adebola 7, Ledesma 4, Cristobal 0, Enrile 0, J. Mendoza 0, Odoy 0, Peñaflor 0, Sellano 0, Solayao 0.
Quarterscores: 20-12, 39-28, 62-53, 79-70.